Arundhati Roy
Arundhati Roy

UN Human Rights Office urges Indian authorities to drop cases against author Arundhati Roy over comments on Kashmir

United Nations | The top UN human rights official on Thursday voiced concern over the use of anti-terror law in India to silence critics and urged authorities to drop cases against author Arundhati Roy over comments on Kashmir.

"#India: We are concerned by the use of #UAPA anti-terror law to silence critics. Repeat call for review of law & release of human rights defenders detained under it. Urge authorities to drop cases against” Arundhati Roy and Sheikh Showkat Hussain over comments on Kashmir,” the UN Human Rights Office, led by High Commissioner Volker Turk, said in a post on X.

Earlier this month, Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena accorded sanction to prosecute Roy and former Central University of Kashmir professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly making provocative speeches at an event in 2010.

Roy, a Booker Prize-winning author, and Hussain had been named in an FIR registered on October 28, 2010. The two had allegedly made provocative speeches at a conference organised under the banner of ‘Azadi – The Only Way’ on October 21, 2010, in New Delhi.

Roy, 62, was on Thursday honoured with the prestigious Pen Pinter Prize 2024 for her "unflinching and unswerving" writings. The prize, established in 2009 by the charity English PEN, defends freedom of expression and celebrates literature in memory of Nobel-Laureate playwright Harold Pinter.